As we mentioned in our previous articles on what to see when in Iceland, the country is stunning, and it features some unique natural landscapes.
While going through all the places that must be visited when in Iceland, we found one that we thought was actually worth dedicating a whole article. This spot is fascinating and wonderful both from a geological point of view and from an aesthetic one.
Nestled away on the bottom of Þingvallavatn Lake—a water basin located in Thingvellir National Park—is a rift that is part of the divergent tectonic boundary between the North American and Eurasian plates. This fracture of the crust is called Silfra.
Silfra is the one spot we want you to go see and experience when in Iceland.
FROM A GEOLOGICAL POINT OF VIEW
As we mentioned above, Silfra was formed as a consequence of the tectonic drift of the Eurasian and the North American plates.
Due to the active geological activity in the area, every 10 years there is an earthquake, which is caused by the plates drifting 2cm further apart every 12 months.
When the earthquakes happen, the crust breaks forming cracks and fissures. One of those cracks is Silfra, which is the largest one of all.
While visiting Silfra, you will notice that inside the crack there are numerous caves. Those were also formed during the earthquakes. Every time the ground shakes, boulders and rocks fall into the fissure, deepening and widening Silfra’s base.
WHAT TO DO WHEN THERE
Silfra is located on the bottom of the Þingvallavatn Lake, so in order for people to go see the crack, they need to submerge.
Despite the cold weather and even colder waters, numerous scuba divers swim down to Silfra to witness on first hand the geological phenomenon. The fact that the lake is freezing cold is actually a positive thing as the waters are clear and when swimming down the visibility reaches 100 meters.
Travellers that dare to dive down to Silfra could decide which part of the fissure to visit. Indeed, the place has been divided into three sections: Silfra hall, Silfra cathedral and Silfra lagoon.
When exploring the crack of Silfra, divers would literally be swimming between two continents: Eurasia and North America.
(All photos are taken from GoogleImage.com and they all belong to their original owners)